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Find Something New . . . Or Something Old

Posted by purplemary54 on July 10, 2014

I got all ranty the other day about the state of music today, and I feel a little bad about that.  I still stand by my rant, but I feel like I ought to offer people something positive.  It is possible to find good music these days, but sometimes you have to get creative.

I’ve mentioned Songza before, a music streaming service for people who actually like music.  But I’d also like to note that I am in the minority of my friends and family on Pandora; everyone else seems to really like it, and I do know they play some new and interesting stuff.  There are a lot of other Internet radio stations out there, and the web has made it possible to stream radio stations from all over the world. While satellite radio is really awesome, there’s also good stuff to be found on broadcast radio.  Try looking for you local NPR station.

You can still find good record shops out there, too.  It’s better now that the big chain stores have pretty much gone the way of the dinosaur (although I do miss Tower Records).  I have Fingerprints in Long Beach, but there are lots of independent stores in most major metropolitan areas (the phone book is a great way to find them . . . and yes, the phone book still exists).  If you happen to be in the Minneapolis area, Rob over at 45 Spins is getting closer and closer to opening his store (I’m so excited!).  But there are other ways to buy music (and if you paid any attention to my rant the other day, then you know that you should damn well be buying music).

Most artists have websites now, with either stores where they sell their recordings or links to someone who does sell them.  And there are still independent record labels.  My generation had Sub Pop Records, which is still going strong.  There’s Matador and Pop Detective (home of the Dahlmanns), and a whole bunch of others out there (this list is from 2013, but I think they’re all still in business).  Yeah, itunes and Amazon will probably always be the biggest names in downloadable content, but there are less corporate ways to get digital music.

Noisetrade is my favorite so far.  It was kind of the inspiration for today’s post.  The sheer volume of stuff they have available is kind of mind-boggling.  What makes it really awesome is that it’s free.  You can download music for free, legally and everything.  Although since these are independent, working musicians,  you should follow the recommendation to leave a tip for the music.  I was trolling around there today, and sampled concert recordings from Josh Ritter and They Might Be Giants, along with some new artists I hadn’t heard before (I highly recommend The Howlin’ Brothers).

There.  That should be enough to keep you guys busy for a while.


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